Jerusalem Police Remain on Alert After Holiday Rioting

Prayers on the Temple Mount end uneventfully; 16 Palestinians arrested overnight on suspicion of having participated in Wednesday's riots.

Police Commissioner David Cohen on Friday decided to keep police on high alert during the coming days to ensure security for hundreds of thousands of tourists expected to visit Jerusalem over the Sukkot holiday.

The police have been on high alert since Wednesday due to riots in East Jerusalem after a Housing Ministry guard shot and killed a Palestinian father of five.

silwan - AP - Sept 22 2010

Cohen also gave orders to investigate to the full extent of the law those Palestinians suspected of having rioted and wounded Israeli citizens and police officers during demonstrations on Wednesday.

Thousands of police and Border Police officers were deployed throughout East Jerusalem and the Old City due to Friday Muslim prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other mosques in the city. Following prayers, attendants dispersed without incident.

Sixteen Palestinians were arrested overnight on suspicion of causing a public disturbance; nine of them were from Silwan and seven of them were from the A-Tur neighborhood.

On Thursday, rioters in Silwan threw rocks and firebombs at police, who returned fire with tear gas and rubber coated bullets.

Palestinians reported that tear gas was shot into the home of the family of Samir Sirhan Samir Sirhan is the father of five that was killed by a Housing Ministry guard on Wednesday, inciting the riots.

The guard, hired to protect the Israeli residents of the neighborhood's Beit Yehonatan, shot and killed Samir Sirhan, 32, around 3:30 A.M. Wednesday morning. A Jewish doctor living in the nearby City of David came to the aid of Sirhan, a father of five, but could not resuscitate him.